Venerated jazz pianist Marc Copland concludes his three-trio project with this final volume of the New York City-based series. Each volume highlights a different lineup. Here, the pianist employs bassist Drew Gress and drummer Bill Stewart, offering a different perspective witnessed on the 2007 album titled Vol. 2. Voices, featuring bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian. Hence, Copland’s pursuance of vibrancy and group-centric synergy advances during this splendid outing.
One common denominator evidenced on the pianist’s recordings pertains to his delicate manner of constructing a theme. Copland is a master at generating depth via a multitude of intricacies and spiraling crescendos. Whether he’s executing lush chord clusters or working through linear motifs, the artist’s primary manifesto resides in acute compositional development. On this release, he benefits from Bill Stewart’s accents, shadings and peppery pulses. Stewart’s oscillating press rolls often serve as a low-key accelerator. And Gress’ supple bass lines offer a wide bottom-end throughout.
Copland renders ethereal, haunting and lush melodies but leads the trio into buoyant bop/swing vamps. No doubt, the artists’ line of attack is snuggled within the progressive jazz idiom. The leader launches Gress’ composition titled "Like It Never Was," with a quiet muse that gradually rises into a heated finale, dappled with ominous attributes. Then on his piece "Scattered Leaves," they maneuver through a loping bop vibe, marked by Copland’s top-down phraseology and animated single note runs. Moreover, Stewart bobs and weaves around his band-mates, segueing to a shadowy theme, instilled with an air of mystery. Therefore, the musicians embed a mark of authenticity, much like a limited edition collection of fine art. It’s jazz at its absolute finest.